Drover Alum Since Day One: Kaylee Souders

Kaylee Souders first came to USAO in fall 2015, undecided about what degree she wanted to pursue. She wavered between English with a teacher certification and speech-language pathology, but she decided to follow her passion in reading, writing and teaching.

During her time at USAO, Souders participated in several campus organizations, both as a member and as a leader. Some of her favorite memories were made as part of the Student Activities Board and at the Baptist Collegiate Ministries. Her passion for community and ministry has continued to shape all of her life’s pursuits.

A key factor in developing her leadership skills, Souders learned how to plan events and work with individuals from various organizations and backgrounds. She served as a student representative during the student/professor forum for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and on the Teacher Education Committee, in which she learned how to best represent students’ learning progress and goals at the university.

Graduating in spring 2019, Souders started her teaching career in the Upward Bound program at Redlands Community College. In the fall, she took a position as a 7th grade English teacher at Mustang Central Middle School. Her time at USAO taught her the value of an interdisciplinary, liberal arts education, and, as a teacher, her mission is to give her students the tools to succeed in any field they pursue.

Souders is looking forward to partnering with her colleagues to teach literacy in all subjects this fall, which grows out of USAO students’ passionate volunteer work with Read Across America.

Though her career is just beginning, Souders has been asked to serve as a team leader at her school, a huge accomplishment as a first-year teacher. Souders says a lot of her success goes back to USAO helping her create new, lasting friendships and taught her to not be afraid to try new things.

“USAO has an environment that is welcoming and encouraging, which makes it the perfect place to branch out, build new skills and make memories,” said Souders.

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